A Rapid City school board member who had been attending meetings via Skype after taking a teaching job overseas has resigned.
Bret Swanson, representative for Area 5, resigned from the Rapid City school board last week and the remaining members accepted the resignation at Tuesday night's meeting at Rapid City High School.
Swanson reportedly cited logistical issues with his attending meetings. He has been attending board meeting via Skype for at least a year since he took the teaching position overseas.
To fill the position, the school board will solicit applications, conduct interviews and appoint someone to fill the Area 5 seat for the rest of the year. Then an election next year will fill the seat for the new term.
In other board action Tuesday, Katie Bray, assistant superintendent, presented slightly lower than expected preliminary enrollment numbers.
After last year's enrollment spike, this year's numbers looks to remain about the same overall. But they could go up. Bray said she received calls from several principals who said they were getting 5 to 10 new students today, because it is the day after Labor Day when a lot of new students arrive.
Boundary changes at schools like Knollwood eased congestion, Bray said.
She said this is the first year that she has not received a call from the Knollwood principal saying there is just no room for all the students and forcing the administration to force transfer some students.
"There are reasonable class size numbers for the first time in a long time," Bray said at last night's meeting.
The new facility use policy is proving to be a lot of work and there are some kinks to be worked out, but officials say it is worth it.
Mike Kenton, director of support services, said they have so far scheduled 8,520 district-wide events. They have processed 128 applications and have 25 that are working on being processed. Some applications have requests for multiple events.
Kenton said that with the new program they are using to schedule events, they will know who is using what facility and when.
Also, school board members were urged to watch what they say via email with a new policy set to be put in place that treats email like any other official forms of school board communication. Members are told not to use email to substitute for deliberations at meetings and should be aware that their emails could be inspected by any member of the public upon request.
And a new media relations policy will route any requests from members of the media through the superintendent's office first.
Dave Davis wanted to make it clear that this is not meant to be a "gag order."
"The intent is to provide more information to the public, not less," Davis said.